Donald Magrath (1898-1987)
Donald was born on 20 June 1898 and was educated at Bromsgrove School where he was an excellent pupil and may have been head boy. He was captain of cricket and rugby and in the athletics squad, as well as excelling academically and being a talented pianist and organist. He left Bromsgove in 1916.
Donald had been an NCO in the school Combined Cadet Force and when he moved on to study medicine at Birmingham University Medical School he joined the OTC. Records indicate that he was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery on 9 February 1918 when his home was at "Chepstow", 57 School Road, Moseley. The photograph (right) shows him in February 1918 as a Second Lieutenant in the RFA, part of the Fifth Army, as he was about to move from the St John's Woods Barracks to France. He served in northern France from 24 April 1918 but must have had some leave because he returned to France in July 1918. His son has recently discovered his father's cache of trench and crater maps which mention places such as Festubert and the canal and railway junctions near Givenchy, where he must have served; he comments that, perhaps to make life easier, the British seem to have given names like 'Willow Road' and 'High Street' to the small maps issued to officers. >